Bringing Back the Beloved Dodo

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The ambitious plan, if successful, will be the first to revive an extinct animal. (Image Credit: NBC)

The billion-dollar genetics company Colossal Biosciences has partnered with a wildlife charity in Mauritius in attempting to bring back the dodo, one of the world’s most famous and beloved extinct animals.

Colossal Biosciences has stated that along with the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation who they will be working with together in this scientific task, they will be also partnered with the country’s government to bring the dodo back to life in its East African home, where it has gone extinct in 1681.

The dodo is a bird that was bigger than an average turkey, but due to a lack of predators in its region, it lost its survival instincts. As a result, the bird quickly died out due to its lack of the abilities and instincts to survive in the wild.

Colossal Biosciences has explained that their decision to bring back the dodo is so this project can improve conservation efforts for currently endangered animals in Mauritius. Specifically, the project hopes to increase conservation efforts for the nesoenas mayeri, a pink pigeon. This species faces plenty of adversity and difficulties such as disease, habitat loss, and as a result, there are less than 500 remaining in Mauritius.

Ben Lamm, CEO, and cofounder of Colossal Biosciences commented, “We’ve heard all of those comments over the years. But we have an opportunity to do it for good reasons because when you remove an animal from an ecosystem, that ecological void is felt. We’re not out to build things that shouldn’t exist. We’re focused on undoing the sins of the past and bringing back species to their native homes that mankind had a role in its demise.”

Colossal Biosciences will be attempting to resurrect the animal using genomic editing technology. Modified chickens with the PCGs, or primordial germ cells, of a dodo injected into its embryo could possibly produce an offspring that resembles a dodo. Mauritian Wildlife Foundation will then create models to ensure long-term management of the dodo, to make certain the dodo will be able to thrive and grow as a species, after the dodo is reintroduced to the wild.

The dodo is simply the first animal chosen, and the first step in Colossal Biosciences’ journey to resurrect animals from the dead. Along with it, the company has already announced they will also be attempting to resurrect the Tasmanian tiger and woolly mammoth back from extinction.

Written by Kevin Han

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